My new camera takes amazing photos. When I see natural beauty, I can’t help but to pull out the camera and take a photo. However, I am used to just using my phone. Pull it out and shoot. The pictures are usually pretty good, but in compassion to the ones I can  get from the camera… 

See, my phone has an autofocus and doesn’t capture all the details. My camera also has that feature, but I turn it off so that I can capture the raw image and maximize the quality of the photo. I’ve only had this camera for a month or so, thus I am still learning about how it functions. 

But one thing I keep messing up on is the focus. Yesterday we were driving through a park and seeing many neat animals including deer, elk, bison, butterflies, turtles, and birds. I grabbed the camera and shot away. When I got home to look at the pictures, I realized I did not put the focus on the animals. The focus was on a tree… thus the animal was blurry. In pretty much all the photos. 

I put the focus on the wrong thing. 

There have been so many times in my life where I have put focus on the wrong thing. 

Focused my attention on school work… socializing… dating… traveling… having “fun”… 

I found many ways to keep the focus off of my hurting heart. 

I mean, why did I have a hurt heart in the first place… didn’t make sense…so I ignored it and tried to focus on other things… worldly things, that promised pleasure, but never brought peace. 

My heart hurt because there is only one thing that can satisfy… Jesus. 

I know what you’re thinking- of course your focus was off before you were walking with Christ. Surely you’re always in focus now… 

I wish that were always true. 

Now I take the picture assuming I am focusing on God, but then days later realize I had it all wrong. 

A few days ago, I was unhappy with my husband, and I was reading my Bible. During which time I got the conviction to let my conversations be filled with grace. 

Well, guess what I didn’t do. I allowed my perceived hurts to fill the conversations. I let tension build between me and my husband. 

I lost sight of the fact that he is not my enemy. I mean we weren’t fighting. We weren’t  being hostile to each other. We just got on each other’s nerves… often… That happens when you live with someone for 11 years- right?

I justified it in many ways. But the bottom line is, I had the picture out of focus. I was focused on my hurts, not truth. I was not listening to the conviction to fill my conversations with grace. I had forgotten that my husband is my teammate, not my enemy. 

And guess how the picture turned out… not as good as it could have. We spent a couple days irritating each other when we could have been lifting each other up.  

My vision was out of focus. It’s an easy thing to do. But not always an easy thing to admit when it comes to dealing with yourself.

The solution.  Evaluate your fruit. Are you producing love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control?

If the answer is… well, kinda… or no, then you need to take your eyes off the world and put them on the prize- life with Christ.  

Galatians 5:19-26

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

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